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CC Sabathia unlikely to make next start until ALCS Game 4

Oct 12, 2012, 8:49 PM EDT

New York Yankees starting pitcher Sabathia and first baseman Teixeira celebrate in their clubhouse after defeating the Baltimore Orioles in Game 5 of their MLB ALDS baseball playoff series in New York Reuters

Because of the unusual playoff schedule this year, the only way the Yankees will be able to get two starts out of CC Sabathia in the ALCS is by using him on short rest once.

That’s because the Yankees won’t have a day off before the ALCS begins Saturday in New York. The Tigers get did that day off, so they’ll be able to schedule Justin Verlander for Games 3 and 7 with no problem. The Yankees will have to use Sabathia on three days’ rest in order to get two games out of him.

Of course, it makes no sense for the Yankees to do that initially, since there’s a good chance the series won’t go seven games anyway. So odds are that Sabathia will start Game 4. Here’s are the likely matchups:

Game 1 – Oct. 13 – Doug Fister vs. Andy Pettitte (in New York)
Game 2 – Oct. 14 – Anibal Sanchez vs. Hiroki Kuroda (in New York)
Game 3 – Oct. 16 – Verlander vs. Phil Hughes (in Detroit)
Game 4 – Oct. 17 – Max Scherzer vs. Sabathia (in Detroit)
Game 5 – Oct. 18 – Fister vs. Pettitte (in Detroit)
Game 6 – Oct. 20 – Sanchez vs. Kuroda (in New York)
Game 7 – Oct. 21 – Verlander vs. Sabathia (in New York)

Perhaps the Yankees would choose Hughes on normal rest over Sabathia on short rest in a Game 7, but it seems highly unlikely. Regardless, the Tigers would seem to have a nice advantage in that one. The series winner would certainly prefer ending it in Game 6, allowing the ace to be ready to go in Game 1 of the World Series.

Update – I hadn’t considered that Kuroda would also be on three days’ rest in Game 2. It still seems to be that that would be the way to do it. Using him in Game 3 instead would put a potentially rusty Hughes in line to start Game 6. If they’re not willing to start Kuroda in Game 2, then it’d probably be David Phelps, with Hughes maybe working in relief on two days’ rest.

Update 2 – The Tigers announced that it’d be Sanchez in Game 2, not Scherzer, suggesting that Scherzer is still dealing with some shoulder soreness. That’d seem to be good news for the Yankees.

  1. bigharold - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    CC has proven that he’s just fine on short rest, .. just ask the Brewers.

    Also, it’s been suggested that rather then use Kuroda on short rest they might use Phelps.

  2. mckcal - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Great how the AL’s 7th-best team continues to get every scheduling advantage. Of course Yanks shoulda scored some runs and made today an off day.

    • lks311 - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:32 PM

      7th Best record and 7th Best team are two different things.

    • Lukehart80 - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:39 PM

      If you are a Yankees fan complaining about the advantages you believe another team is getting… don’t do that.

  3. RickyB - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    So you’re saying you expect the Yankees to throw Kuroda on short rest in game 2? Sunday will be their fifth straight day of baseball, meaning either David Phelps gets the nod or Kuroda on short rest. Or Ivan Nova gets activated for the LCS, which is even more improbable than Phelps starting. No matter what, for the Yankees to stick with four starters, someone is going on short rest in the first three games of the series. What are Kuroda’s career numbers on short rest? Has he ever even done it?

  4. randygnyc - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Kuroda’s home/away splits and day/night splits are decisive. Kuroda will almost assuredly pitch Sunday at Yankee stadium.

    Additionally, Ripken is out of the booth (good riddance). In order to maintain their anti Yankee bias, TBS is bringing in Ty Cobb’s decaying, skeletal remains to broadcast the Detroit/Yankees series.

    • banggbiskit - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      Right, when i saw Ripken there for game 1 i was like “serious?”

  5. nelsonsaint - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    My baseball people kept saying “David Phelps!”

  6. chrisdtx - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Scherzer isn’t starting Game 2, because that would be short rest, not because of his shoulder issues.

  7. 27xwschamps - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Bring em on !!!

  8. yousuxxors - Oct 13, 2012 at 5:05 AM

    im not a yankee fan but dont bash them because their owners actually spend money on the team. there is more to making a good team then just money.

  9. jayscarpa - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    If they use Kuroda in game 3 they’ll have to use him on short rest in game 6 (game 7 is reserved for CC). So Kuroda is going to pitch on short rest at some point if the series goes past game 5.

    If it is Phelps in game 2 do they add another pitcher to the roster? I think they do. That means a hitter gets left off, Gardner or Nunez.

    I see the rotation as: Pettite, Phelps, Kuroda, CC, Pettite, Kuroda, CC
    Gardener gets dropped for Garcia.

    • jayscarpa - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:52 AM

      LOL, I completely forgot about Hughes.

  10. banggbiskit - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    I like the idea of waiting to get CC on normal rest, no sense to rush him back to face Verlander in a game he’s probably going to lose anyway. If NYY is down 2-0 heading to game 3, i gotta think you’ll C CC on short rest.

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